VARIABLES TO CONSIDER in RUG SELECTION
Color is an obvious consideration in choosing a rug for your space, but variables like pile, material, and pattern are also important. The type of flooring the rug will be place on will also play a role in what rug type and style is the best fit. Let’s look at these variables to help you make a rug choice you’ll love in your home.
RUGS ON CARPET
Choose a rug based on the pile of your existing carpet to provide contrast between the textures. If your existing carpet has a thick pile, the rug should not be thick. A cut-pile or flat weave rug is a great option to use on carpet. These rugs are thin and typically feature a simple, subtle designs.
Choose a rug that doesn’t depart greatly from your primary carpet color. A color that is analogous to the carpet will create harmony between your carpet and the rug.
A rug with a different texture and fibers than the existing wall to wall carpet will help the rug be a distinguishable component and accent in the room.
RUGS FOR SOLID SURFACE FLOORS
Solid floor surfaces like laminate, hardwood, and LVP create a blank slate for rugs, so the texture and the style of the rug is up to you. Because these floors are flat, you can choose any rug thickness or pile you want.
Some rugs withstand dampness better than others. Flatweave Polypropylene rugs hold up to regular dampness and generally have a lower absorbency than rugs of natural fibers. They are highly resistant to mold and staining and go great in bathrooms and kitchens. If you have laminate flooring in the areas where water will be, make sure to have a rug with high friction gel or latex backing to prevent slips and falls.
Jute rugs are great for laminate flooring, but you will need an underlay. The material doesn’t stain easily and is easy to clean since the fibers don’t retain much dirt.
Floors that emulate wood or stone are typically simple in tone and patterning, providing an opportunity to spice up the room with a pop of color and texture.
THINKING ABOUT RUGS AND COLORS
Consider these facts and myths when thinking about your flooring and rug colors.
- Fact: Deep, rich colors create intimate feeling spaces.
- Myth: Light colors help to make small spaces appear larger. It’s not true that small spaces need white or light color schemes.
- Fact: Warm colors are inviting and cozy.
- Fact: Cool colors are most common for creating a calm atmosphere, especially in a room filled with natural light.
After thinking about flooring pile, type and texture, it’s time to think about color coordination and contrast. Floors that are one color or simple in tone and patterning, allow for the introduction of a variety of colors and designs. Complimentary color groupings increase contrast. Placing a blue rug on a warm earthy-orange floor will stand out dramatically. If you desire a more subtle and seamless look, choose a rug in the same hue or value as your existing floor.
SUGGESTED COLOR PALETTES FOR COMMON FLOOR TONES:
LIGHT WOOD/LIGHT FLOORS
Lighter wood tends to show dirt, pet hair and everyday foot traffic, so an area rug covering a large amount of space can be helpful. This also provides an attractive focal point to anchor the room. When selecting a large coverage area rug, ensure it is large enough to hold the room’s primary furniture. This provides definition and intimacy for the social area.
Light hardwood or LVP floors can create beautiful monochromatic spaces. Since wood textured floors feature different tints, create a seamless look by using the lightest or darkest shades in the flooring for your rug color.
If you prefer bolder contrast, opt for a darker red, navy, or black rug to anchor the room and draw attention to the space with a strong focal point.
Don’t be afraid of color either. Determine if your flooring has a warm or cool tone then check a color wheel to determine the best option for the pop of color you desire.
DARK WOOD/DARK FLOORS
Dark hardwood or LVP floors bring richness and sophistication to a room. Pull the décor together harmoniously through light or neutral walls, wood furniture a few shades lighter than the floor, and a rug that contrasts in color and texture.
For instance, rooms full of heavy furniture, metal light fixtures, and harsh edges can be contrasted by a bright, light, and softly textured rug making the room feel balanced and cozy.
If you’re looking for color, pair your dark wood floors with a rug rich in color – a warm red, orange, or yellow. If you feel like your floors are too dark, this is the perfect excuse to bring in an oversized area rug in a warm, light color.
STONE and CONCRETE FLOORS
Stone and concrete floors are sleek and modern, but they can feel hard and cold. Using an area rug can soften and add warmth to your room.
Woolen rugs are popular because they are soft material, strong, and very diverse in design. Wool is long-lasting and can be placed in the bedroom, living room or dining room.
Stone is commonly grey, sandy, or black. These neutral and muted colors give you many rugs options depending on your taste. You can use bright, striking colors to contrast the floor or one that is similar in tone for a quieter, more sophisticated look.
While pattern matching is largely a matter of personal style and taste, designers often limit the number of patterns in a single space. Bold patterned rugs stand out best on floors that have simple patterns or muted textures themselves. For a busier floor such as marble, select a simpler rug pattern with fewer colors to avoid creating a “too busy” look where the elements compete for your eye’s attention.
Ultimately, your rug choice should consider the floor under it, use of the room, colors, textures, piles and patterns. But the most important factor of all – you should love the rug you take home!